Welcome to Bethlehem, Lehigh students -- now here are the rules

August 24, 2013|By Nicole Radzievich, Of The Morning Call

With Lehigh University students arrive for the semester, Bethlehem is ramping up to respond to trash, messy properties, noise and other quality of life issues that often make town-gown relations tense in college towns.

The city is deploying a housing inspector to on weekends to respond quickly to neighbors' complaints and reach out to students to make sure they understand the rules in their new home.

"We are always happy to welcome the students back to Bethlehem. They bring a vitality and energy to the city," Mayor John Callahan said in a statement. "We expect them to be responsible neighbors, and we will hold them to the same standard that every resident in Bethlehem is held to."

The education and enforcement effort started two year ago when city officials began citing not only students living off-campus but the landlords for garbage violations. Recent revisions to the rental ordinance now require landlords to provide one trash and one recycling container per tenant.

Bethlehem estimates it is home to 9,000 students spread among Lehigh, Moravian College, Northampton Community College's Fowler Family Southside Center and nearby DeSales University and Penn State Lehigh Valley.

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